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Robert Rapier: Where The US Got Its Oil From in 2013


As events in Iraq continue to unfold, we have been getting quite a few queries on just how much oil the US imports from Iraq. In my previous post – The Top 10 Oil Producers in 2013 — I showed that even though the US is a major oil producer, we are an even greater oil consumer. So we import millions of barrels a day of oil from over 40 countries — one of which is in fact Iraq.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) tracks US oil imports and finished product exports, and I have tabulated our Top 10 sources of crude oil imports from 2013. Overall, the US imported 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in 2013, a 2 million bpd decline since 2008. We imported another 2.1 million bpd of finished products like diesel, gasoline, and jet fuel, but we also exported 3.6 million bpd of petroleum and petroleum products (mostly as finished products).

Where Does Our Imported Oil Come From?

Of the 7.7 million bpd of crude oil imports, 3.5 million bpd (45 percent of the total) came from OPEC countries. Saudi Arabia was our largest OPEC supplier at 1.3 million bpd (17 percent of the crude import total). But our biggest supplier of crude continues to be Canada. The 2.6 million bpd of crude we got from Canada in 2013 represents a 66 percent increase in the past 10 years and made up a third of US crude oil imports in 2013.

US Crude Imports in 2013
Top 10 Sources of US Crude Oil Imports in 2013 (million barrels per day). Table by Robert Rapier using data from the Energy Information Administration.

While Canada has become a much more important source of US crude oil, imports from Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Venezuela, Iraq, Nigeria, and Angola have all seen double-digit declines over the past decade. These import declines are a result of a nearly 2 million bpd drop in our import demand, plus Canada’s increasing share of our business.

Why Do Events in Iraq Affect US Oil Prices?

The question often arises, given Iraq’s relatively small contribution to the US oil supply picture, why events there should impact prices here. As I explained last week in The Oil Markets as a Thanksgiving Turkey, Iraq’s oil production has risen 8 years in a row, and makes up 3.7 percent of the world’s oil supply. We imported 340,000 bpd of oil from Iraq in 2013, less than half of the all-time high of 795,000 bpd we imported from Iraq in 2001.

But over the past eight years, while Iraqi oil production was increasing by 1.3 million bpd, global oil consumption has increased by 6.9 million bpd. The increases in production in Iraq, along with the even greater production gains in the US, have struggled to keep up with rising demand. This has meant little spare capacity in the system, and with a globally traded commodity like crude oil, potential disruptions in supply make traders nervous and they bid prices higher.

Thus, even if we imported no oil at all from Iraq, oil that might be removed from the global supply tends to have a disproportionate impact on the price with supply and demand in such tight balance. There is no better illustration of this than Canada, a net exporter of crude oil. They are seeing gasoline prices hit record highs, showing that one doesn’t have to be a net importer of oil to feel the pain of higher oil prices.

Consumer Energy Report » R-Squared Energy Blog by Robert Rapier

14 Comments on "Robert Rapier: Where The US Got Its Oil From in 2013"

  1. TIKIMAN on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 6:32 am 

    Give it 3 more years when Cantarell is in depletion LOL

  2. paulo1 on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 9:01 am 

    Yeah Robert,

    On Sunday we went to ‘town’ on Vancouver Island. Gas increased from 1.379/litre to 1.449 overnight. I understand that in Vancouver, where the transit taxes are higher, gas ranges up to 1.55/litre.


  3. Kenz300 on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 12:04 pm 

    The increase in demand from over a billion people in China and another billion people in India will keep prices rising for oil………….

  4. noobtube on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 12:27 pm 

    Most of the countries on that list are sending their oil to America and Europe instead of to their own people.

    How do you have Nigeria, Angola, Venezuela, and Ecuador sending oil to the United States and Europe, when their own people are suffering for lack of oil.

    Doesn’t make much sense unless you realize the Americans and Europeans are stealing from these countries and people.

    Nothing new there.

    But, the stealing will end once the prices hit the tipping point.

  5. rockman on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 2:45 pm 

    n – So your solution is for those countries to not sell their oil and let their people starve? Well, at least they would die oil-rich. Something to be said for that I suppose. LOL.

  6. noobtube on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 5:33 pm 

    Oh, I didn’t know that the United States and Europe were feeding Angolans, Venezuelans, Nigerians, and Ecuadorans.


    It must be that Monsanto, GMO, McDonalds happy meals that is stopping the hunger in other parts of the world.

    Who wouldn’t want that deal?

    Give me your oil, or else I’ll stop sending you high fructose corn syrup, enriched, bleached, white flour, red dye #4, and emulsifier.

    How can you resist that deal?

  7. redpill on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 7:39 pm 

    In what way is anyone “stealing” oil from these people other than say, their own people.
    Maybe you can make some assertion that we’ve got Goodluck Jonathan in our pockets(which I don’t think is the case), but Venezuela?
    And how about your view of China then, aren’t they the largest foreign presence in Iraq, oil wise?

  8. noobtube on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 8:25 pm 

    So, their own people, got together and said…

    Hey, let’s allow the United States to drill in our lands for oil. In exchange, we get happy meals, Big Gulps, potato chips, and foreign soldiers (Unified Combatant Command).

    So the Americans/Europeans get our oil and natural resources (which everyone wants) and we get their junk food and soldiers (which no one wants).

    I wonder why the United States never accepted a deal like that on its own lands, if its such a great deal? Things that make you go… hmmmm.

    As far as China, I don’t recall them sending soldiers to invade Iraq. Or, did the United States convince them to join the “liberation” to spread Democracy and freedom?

  9. Makati1 on Tue, 24th Jun 2014 8:32 pm 

    Canada is an oil exporter and is still paying 1.55/liter at the pump.

    Philippines in a net importer of oil and is paying the equivalent of 1.35/liter for gasoline.

    BTW: Diesel is only/ 1.05 liter here. It has always been about 0.25 cheaper than gasoline.

    This is a very good, concise article that plainly shows how at least 7 out of the 10 countries are likely to not export much oil for very long. All ~7 have problems stirred up by their oil customer, the US. $120+ oil by Christmas?

  10. rockman on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 10:22 am 

    “I wonder why the United States never accepted a deal like that on its own lands”. You apparently don’t understand the situation to any significant degree. The US has cut such deals for decades. A number of foreign companies own US offshore oil/NG production. Companies such as Brazil’s Petrobras and BP. In fact last time I saw the stat BP holds more federal offshore leases than any other company… domestic or foreign. And what do these foreign companies get: on average about 84% of the revenue. Which is significantly more then many concessions offered by those “poor” countries you mention.

    And just like the govt’s of the US and all the rest leasing those rights was their decision. You just want to focus on how much revenue those countries give up and conveniently ignore the $TRILLIONS companies have spent to develop those reserves. And that includes the dry holes. Like the last well a foreign company (the US’s Devon for whom I consulted) that spent $155 million drilling a DRY HOLE in the Brazil Deep Water trend. That was $155 million the Brazilian people didn’t lose drilling that well.

    And another first hand experience of mine: Equatorial Guinea. Foreign companies have spent a good bit more than $1 TRILLION to develop its Deep Water oil and LNG. This is a country that had zero capital to do any resource development. On a per capita basis the revenue created by foreign companies EQ moved from one of the poorest countries to one of the richest ON THE ENTIRE PLANET. But it’s still a sad story: the gov’t of EQ, which you argue has been taken advantage of by the oil companies, takes all the revenue for its homicidal dictator and his 300 member extended family. So 99% of the population of one of the richest Africa countries lives in poverty at a near starvation level. And this despite receiving $billions from those selfish oil companies. I had the unhappy experience of witnessing this first hand.

    Granted you can’t travel the world and observe the situation first hand. But all the details of what countries have gained by having foreign companies invest capital in resource development (capital those countries typically did not have) is available on the web. All you need do is get off your pontificating ass, do the research and give up your jinglistic bumper sticker approach to a complex situation. But, of course, that’s just MHO.

  11. Davy, Hermann, MO on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 10:36 am 

    Noob, I think you just got your clock cleaned..LOL. Noob, sometimes when you are sooo passionate and obsessed with your anti Americanism you show just how friggen stupid you are. Try a balanced and facts based approach and everyone here will enjoy your participation. Currently, Noob, you are just a slug so slim off somewhere please noob.

  12. noobtube on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 11:50 am 

    I guess this is the kind of rationale that the Europeans did a favor to Africans by enslaving them, did a favor to the Navajo, Seminole, Creole, Lakota by killing them and moving them to reservations, and did a favor to the Arawaks, Taino, and Tasmanians by wiping them off the face of the planet.

    But, but, but, we HAD to “DEVELOP” the land (for profit and short-term gain).

    Gotta love that psychopath logic.

  13. Davey on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 12:15 pm 

    Noob got his clock cleaned. Ha!!

  14. noobtube on Wed, 25th Jun 2014 12:51 pm 

    How original… Americans congratulating themselves for failing.

    As Bush stated 10 years ago…

    Mission Accomplished!

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